RE: sexual selection and memes

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Thu Jun 21 2001 - 11:40:55 BST

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    Subject: RE: sexual selection and memes
    Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 11:40:55 +0100
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    I should be able to get a copy of that Nature paper though my library, bt
    maybe others don't have a University library 5 minutes walk from their
    office/home, so if you could post it in pdf, I'm sure people would be very

    I'm working my way through Dugatkin's book at the moment, and that seems to
    be moving toward why sexual selection explanations for cultural behaviour
    have major gaps. That may help me grasp the gaps in Miller's and others
    views. [only one problem with the book so far is the use of Dawkins's,
    instead of Dawkins', terrible grammar].


    > ----------
    > From: Chris Taylor
    > Reply To:
    > Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001 3:32 pm
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: sexual selection and memes
    > Vincent Campbell wrote:
    > >
    > > Very interesting.
    > >
    > > Can one assume, or does the study consider that offspring receiving high
    > > male parental investment conduct high mpi themselves?
    > >
    > > Maybe all they get is the appearance of high mpi from being well looked
    > > after, and subsequently get the females regardless of how they then
    > behave
    > > as parents.
    > I agree you'd expect cheaters that always display large badges, but I'm
    > not sure if there wouldn't still be a difference between well cared for
    > and otherwise (this wasn't really gone into in any depth in the paper).
    > As for the investment of sons reflecting that of fathers, the authors
    > did state fairly strongly that this was indeed the case.
    > I think the thing is that most of these sexually selected indicators are
    > just a facility to display a trait, whereas the 'degree' to which that
    > trait is displayed is always a measure of realised fitness (i.e. fitness
    > of other genes, or in our case, fitness of memes). I think to lose the
    > parental behaviour after having experienced it would only be possible if
    > the sparrows lost their general learning ability, which would reduce
    > their overall fitness considerably; so perhaps this is why there don't
    > appear to be any cheaters (not that they looked particularly hard
    > actually). Also I should mention that birds born early in the season
    > tended to always have larger badges than late birds because life is
    > generally better for the earlier broods. If I could get the bloody
    > Nature site to work properly (gits) then I'd send round a PDF of it (I
    > will if you like when I finally get one, because it's been a few months
    > since I last read it).
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    > Chris Taylor (
    > »people»chris
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    > ===============================================================
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    > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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